Senate barely passes resolution to restore net neutrality


The FCC's new anti-net-neutrality regulation, which is set to take effect next month, eliminates those prohibitions.

Kull is more skeptical that net neutrality will be a potent voter motivator this year unless people start to see changes to their Internet costs, speed or access.

In what's being called "the most important vote for the internet in the history of the Senate", advocates, such as the organization Fight for the Future, and supporters of net neutrality are "sounding the alarm" and asking constituents to get involved by contacting their senators regarding this issue.

Markey announced he'd offer a resolution through the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to reverse federal agencies' regulatory actions, shortly after the FCC narrowly voted in December to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules.

"The Senate vote, on the eve of midterms, could have significant political effects", said Marc Martin, a telecom lawyer at Perkins Coie in Washington. Sens. LISA MURKOWSKY (R-AK), JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), and SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME) joined the Democrats in using the Senate's power under the Congressional Review Act to vote with a simple majority to override the Commission's decision to gut net neutrality.

Representatives from Stonyfield are anxious, among other things, that Internet Service Providers could start charging more for access to some websites and services.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that the resolution was a "bizarre exercise" that isn't "going anywhere".

The FCC voted 3-2 to roll back numerous existing net neutrality rules, including those prohibiting internet service providers from blocking or throttling of content, or from selling so-called "fast lanes" for speedier access to consumers.

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"That fundamental equality of access is what has made the internet so dynamic", he said on the Senate floor.

However, the measure is unlikely to pass in the U.S. House and even if it were would have to be approved by President Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the solution was for lawmakers to draft net neutrality legislation "that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation".

Currently, the effort to retain Net Neutrality has the backing of 50 United States senators, including that of Republican Susan Collins. Senate Democrats filed a "discharge petition" as part of the CRA effort, which forced a full Senate vote on it-which will take place on Wednesday.

For almost all of the past 10 years, the FCC has had in place rules that sought to guarantee net-neutrality protections.

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), who is a co-sponsor of the House CRA, told the Daily Dot late last month that "grass roots activism" could create a scenario where there is a "real shot at getting this thing out of the House". Democrats say that, with a help of a few Republicans, they have the votes needed.

The resolution is likely to be vetoed if it reaches the president's desk. While the FCC is an independent government agency, it is overseen by Congress.